Year 12, Madi, has been a catalyst of change recently with her work and advocacy for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).

At just seven years old Madi was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D), a relatively young diagnosis. Madi says she felt very different at school in the early years, and didn’t really understand her diagnosis. At the end of 2018, Madi wanted to connect with other young people with similar experiences, so joined the JDRF as an advocate.  

“I want to be an advocate for the cause that is so close to me, and thousands of others. Being an advocate is life-changing, as I am making a positive impact”.  

As if Year 12 isn’t busy and stressful enough as is, Madi has continued with her advocacy this year, with the “Access for All” Campaign. The aim being to allow Type 1 Diabetics over the age of 21 to access the latest continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) technology at greatly reduced cost under the PBS. Currently, many people lose access to this technology when they reach 21.  

Image Credit: Supplied  JDRF

Earlier this year, Madi was invited to Government House in Melbourne on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the JDRF and met with the Governor Ms Linda Dessau AC, whose husband is also a Type 1 Diabetic.  

“[She] was very involved and empathetic, as she has first-hand experience. It was nice to know T1D and the JDRF has been acknowledged.”  

During the school holidays, Madi and her mum visited Sydney as part of the JDRF team at Westmead Children’s Hospital to meet with the Prime Minister and the Minister for Health. They attended the announcement that the Government will fully fund the Access for All program ($273.1M).  

Madi said to the JDRF, “I have already spent years worrying about how I will afford my glucose monitoring technology when I turn 21, and this commitment goes a long way to removing that anxiety”. 

 “My work with the JDRF is my primary form of community service, almost everyone will know someone who has T1D, and it’s important to me to share my involvement and make a difference”.  

Madi is committed to inspiring other young people to engage in community service, she said “young people often feel like it’s not in their lane to get involved, but as a young person you can make so much more of a difference than you think you can.” 

Madi truly is the epitome of defying expectations.